Start Time: 9 AM
End Time: 1 PM
Total Time: 4 hours
Distance: 11 Miles
Elevation Gain: 3800'
I meant to climb this in the dark to watch the sunrise on my birthday.
Unfortunately, around midnight I got tired around the Bakersfield exit and popped an energy pill and parked to take a 20 minute nap.
Unfortunately I ended up sleeping until 7AM.
After waking up I realized I accidentally swapped the energy pill with a Zoloft and in a now anti-depressed stupor I drove into Silverthorne and shoved some McDonalds down my throat.
I arrived at the 2WD TH and went to town climbing.
This was a perfect peak to climb for my final Sawatch peak: excellent trail and great secluded mountain!
I listened an audiobook of Victor Frankl's "Man's search for meaning" to compensate for the copious amount of "The Bachelorette" I had been *second hand* watching thanks to my roommate and his girlfriend.
His book detailed his account of time in a concentration camp and transitioned seamlessly into his psychiatric methodology of "logotherapy" which contends that the "will to meaning" is the driving motive behind man's attempt to navigate the complexities of the world and that he can find deep meaning through unavoidable suffering. My favorite quote was:
"What is demanded of man is not to endure the meaninglessness of life but rather to bear his incapacity to grasp its unconditional meaningfulness in rational terms."
I then proceeded to plow up the mountain. I turned on some modern rock and lifted my arms and attempted to sing along with a vocalist whose range was hopelessly out of my bounds.
Claimed the mountain and had an equally spiritual journey down and drove to Crags Campground after snagging a nice greasy pepperoni and bacon pizza at the Buena Vista dominoes.
Not sure if this is harmony with Frankl's "existential analysis" but it sure tasted good.
Set up camp and camped around 6PM and planned on climbing at midnight again.
4WD road free of snow
There I stood
Start Time: 8:30 AM
End Time: 1:55 PM
Total Time: 5.5 hours
Distance: 13.5 Miles
Elevation Gain: 4300'
Turned out the BIG5 tent I was using wasn't waterproof. This was apparent at the several inches of water in the tent, blowing my mind which was expecting the "less than 1/10" total accumulation"
After this I wasn't really tired though so I sat in the car and read through a psychological social psychology textbook and a couple books on neuroscience and behavioral economics.
Nothing beats an 8 hour marathon of academic text reading on one's birthday.
After that incredible birthday party I got a couple hours of sleep and started to chew on Pike's Peak.
Got through another audiobook and jammed out to some more tunes and plowed up to Pike's summit.
Reaching the summit was a complete life metaphor. I performed a long hard dangerous arduous world-class mountaineering expedition from which few survive let alone succeed to reach the coveted summit of Pikes Peak only to see that some tourists who couldn't possibly fathom my mountaineering achievement had driven to the top. Seeing others on this summit who didn't work as hard as I did completely ruined my experience and sucked all possible joy out of climbing. It did, however, fill me with a smug feeling of condescension towards these gas-guzzling summit thieves who couldn't possibly know what it is like to appreciate a summit without actually climbing it themselves.
The previous paragraph was sarcastic.
The climb down consisted of more internal chucking at the SUV drivers poking their SLR's out the windows in utter (pseudo)excitement.
I drove home on a scenic route from divide to conifer and thought my excitement was done until I went to a sports bar to watch the NBA finals.
I'd like to say a big thank you to the Front and Sawatch range for allowing me safe passage to the summit of all of their peaks.
Pikes from afar
Me and the building that drained my happiness